Having a few days off around the 4th has really been a treat.
Yesterday, feeling like I had a bit of spare time to spend on something I'd enjoy, I sat down to restring my acoustic guitar.
I removed two strings at a time (there's some debate about how safe it is to remove all the strings at once; a guitar likes to have some tension keeping everything in place), used a soft rag to clean the worst of the dirt (mostly dust; I don't play nearly as often as I should), then put on shiny new strings. I used Martin lights, the only pack I had on hand; I thought I'd switched over to using mediums all the time, but there was the pack of lights. I was actually surprised to feel how hard they felt to play, being lights and all.
I can never keep enough 9 volt batteries on hand to use my standalone tuner, so I looked around online for a good freeware tuner that would run on a Mac. To my delight, I found Tuna Pitch. It offers a variety of tunings, and it's simple to use and cleanly designed. Unlike other free tuning software I've tried, it gives great visual feedback. You can have it play a reference tone or simply use the visual response to what you play into the input. I love the way it inverts the screen when you get the string tuned.
For some reason, it didn't respond to the B string, but it did a great job with all the other strings, and really, it's not so hard to tune one string when the other five are done.
I'm trying to get in the habit of playing more often - even if it's just a few minutes a day. It's wonderful to have a nice, clean, freshly-restrung guitar inviting me to take a break.